Wednesday, November 15, 2006

I never knew that: from BBC's Coast

Caught the end of tonight's repeated episode of "Coast" from last week - well, there's a Scottish accent presenting and I'll take my kicks where I can - but was fascinated by the tale of the munitions factory that spawned the towns of Gretna and Eastriggs.

I have to admit I never knew that Gretna only dates back to World War One, and - along with the neighbouring town of Eastriggs - was especially built to support a newly constructed munitions factory designed to relieve the government's shortage of cordite for the WWI mililtary campaign:
Their solution was to create one of the worlds largest munitions factory's in 1915. Codenamed Moorside, the scale of the project was enormous. Not only was it nine miles long and two miles wide, but it brought a massive influx of people to this quiet stretch of coast on the Solway, creating two new towns to house them, Eastriggs and Gretna.
Along with the detail that, of course, it was largely a female workforce that kept the factory running, it was a particularly interesting narrative in a programme full of visual delights and unfamilar stories. Even if the tales of Galloway and 'The Wicker Man' were of course highly familiar, that tale of Gretna and Eastriggs was something very new to me.

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